Synopses & Reviews
Lucy Foulkes's Losing Our Minds is a compelling and incisive book that questions the overuse of mental health terms to describe universal human emotions...
A compelling and incisive book that questions the overuse of mental health terms to describe universal human emotions
Over ten years ago, when Dr. Lucy Foulkes was diagnosed with depression as a first year undergraduate, few people talked about mental illness. But by 2019, there's a World Mental Health Day, expansive training in mental health awareness, and figures like Michelle Obama and the Princes William and Harry encouraging us to seek help. There's no longer a silence around the subject; and while this is a hugely positive development, public understanding has become distorted. Growing awareness of conditions like OCD and depression, doesn't include symptoms. Psychiatric terminology like 'anxiety' or 'depression' is used when we mean 'stress' or 'sadness', fanning widespread belief in this--largely fictional--new epidemic. And worse, we have little idea how to support people who are suffering with mental illness; talking is a good first step, but it's only the first.
In her first book, Dr. Foulkes will look at how we've started to get mental illness so wrong. She'll examine the state of our knowledge about the true causes of mental illness, how and when it develops, and look at current treatments and recovery, outlining everything we know so far--and what we don't. Drawing on Foulkes's own research as well as interviews with other leading mental health scientists, Losing Our Minds sets the record straight about one of the most controversial, misunderstood and politicized contemporary subjects.
A compelling and incisive book that questionsthe overuse of mental health terms to describe universal human emotions
Public awareness of mental illness has been transformed in recentyears, but our understanding of how to define it has yet to catch up. Toooften, psychiatric disorders are confused with the inherent stresses andchallenges of human experience. A narrative has taken hold that a mental healthcrisis has been building among young people. In this profoundly sensitive andconstructive book, psychologist Lucy Foulkes argues that the crisis is one ofignorance as much as illness. Have we raised a 'snowflake' generation? Or aretoday's young people subjected to greater stress, exacerbated by social media, than ever before? Foulkes shows that both perspectives are useful but limited.The real question in need of answering is: how should we distinguish between'normal' suffering and actual illness?
Drawing on her extensive knowledge of the scientific and clinicalliterature, Foulkes explains what is known about mental health problems--howthey arise, why they so often appear during adolescence, the various tools wehave to cope with them--but also what remains unclear: distinguishing betweennormality and disorder is essential if we are to provide the appropriate help, but no clear line between the two exists in nature. Providing necessary clarityand nuance, Losing Our Minds argues that the widespread misunderstandingof this aspect of mental illness might be contributing to its apparentprevalence.